Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A tale of 4 pairs of jeans

I love the refashioners series and despite not thinking I was going to get time to participate in this years event, I was still buying pairs of jeans any time I saw them cheap in a charity shop.  I really wanted a dungaree dress and when my flatmate moved in and brought her 2 versions for me to covet, my envy was tipped into action.  When I also found myself with some unexpected spare time I realised that I could also join in with everyone else on the refashioning fun.

So I started with these 3 pairs of jeans (as the title says, I originally had 4 but then I realised that one of the pairs that I had bought in a charity shop actually fitted me pretty well as they were so they went into my wardrobe!)  The pair on top were an old pair of mine that actually when I came to harvest fabric from them, I realised were too threadbare almost everywhere to use (it's embarrassing that I was still wearing these not all that long ago).  So I was left with the bottom 2 pairs which were each bought in different charity shops in Penge for a couple of quid each.  The dark pair were a large pair of men's jeans and the light ones were a size 8 women's pair (not a lot of fabric-grr!)

I had this Simplicity pinafore pattern from 1973 in my stash which I've been returning to and meaning to make over and over and finally there was a pattern and fabric match.  I used the bodice pieces but knew I wasn't going to have enough fabric from the jeans to use the skirt pieces.
Image result for simplicity 5862

I started by unpicking the back pockets on both pairs of jeans and I loved the designs that they left, particularly on the pale jeans and knew I wanted these to be used in the bodice to make a bit of a feature.  Ideally I would have stuck them front and centre but I didn't think the pocket boob look they gave would have been a good one.  I did get to use the actual pockets on the front which I think look cute and are practical.  

I always have to extend the bodice pieces of my 1970s patterns, I guess I'm taller/have a longer torso than your average 1970s woman.  However, I didn't do it this time and I really don't know why.  I guess I was focused on the refashioning part of my task and neglected to engage my usually sewing knowledge!  It's a shame because the shortness of the bodice is the one thing I don't love about this dungaree dress.  Having made the bodice, I simply created 2 panels of the denim with darker strips on the outside and lighter ones in the middle and then cut them to fit the bodice pieces and round me  and finally I hemmed it.

I think the dungaree dress with a stripey t-shirt is such a classic look.  I am wearing the dress with my newest Dolores t-shirt in these photos.

In the photo below you get a better view of all the top stitching that I did/redid on the straps, hem, around the pockets and waistband.

My sister took most of these photos on a recent trip to Lisbon.  I have a sneaking suspicion these may be the best photos you get for a while as the daylight in the UK is shortening rapidly.  I hope you all get a chance to get your refashioners projects finished in time.


  1. It looks great. The colours of the different jeans are working beautiful in the panels.

    1. Thank you. I've been loving your versions too.